It’s about bloody time I got round to writing my review for this album. On the other hand, I’ve had it for long enough now to have given it enough listens to be clear that it’s one of the best albums of the year. I’ve gone on long enough about how Meursault are one of the best bands in the UK at the moment and this album proves the point very well.
The album continues on from where excellent debut Pissing on Bonfires, Kissing With Tongues left off, but seems to take things up a notch. They’ve managed to perfect an epic lo-fi sound, where despite being recorded in the front room of Matthew Song, By Toad, there’s nothing shoddy here - the songs sound big and weighty, even on the quiet numbers. Sure, a bit of reverb helps, but singer Neil Pennycook’s lingering howl, the quality of the songwriting and the intensity of their performance all add up to them sounding greater than the sum of their already impressive parts.
Although they still often seem like a band who can’t quite decide whether to be a banjo-wielding folk outfit or a full-on electronic noise assault (with tunes of course), these two elements sit alongside each other without ever feeling uncomfortable. And when they’re combined, like on Song for Martin Kippenberger, it sounds even more impressive. Although it’s the album’s first ‘proper’ track Crank Resolutions that steals the show and establishes itself as one of the best songs of the year. - it’s skittering beats, hard driven melody and yes, that howl, make it something that Radiohead would be proud of. From this all the way through to the quiet piano-led beauty of A Fair Exchange, All Creatures… is an album that consistently punches above its weight, and despite the fact that combination of acoustic folkiness and electronica is a trick a little too widely used at the moment, Meursault manage to sound like nothing else around. There’s really only one way for them to go now.